Blue ridge School
11th & 12th Grade
Years as an Educator: 4
Hampton Kennedy is the chairman of the history department at the Blue Ridge School in St. George, Virginia. He has previously worked at schools in North Carolina and New Hampshire and has taught world history, civics, economics, and United States history. Hampton earned a Master’s degree in history from Norwich University and a Bachelor’s degree in history secondary education from Appalachian State University. His graduate research and publications focused on colonial and early republic slavery, Native American diplomacy, and President James Monroe.
How familiar are you with the American Civil War? What aspect(s) do you find most fascinating or compelling?
“The combined impact of individual efforts is what intrigues me the most. Men, women, and children from many backgrounds contributed to the war effort. From Ulysses Grant’s leadership to female spies to enslaved person’s agency, countless people fought in their own way to redefine freedom and preserve the Union.
How personal the war was is another aspect that I find very fascinating. I have looked at the graduating classes at the United States Military Academy at West Point and found numerous classmates who eventually became generals on both sides of the conflict. Imagine personally knowing your enemy on the battlefield, having served under General Winfield Scott in the Mexican American War together, knowing how they thought tactically. It was a very personal war.”